Sure, you’ve got LinkedIn covered, but Instagram? Using Instagram for job searching is most likely not at the top of most job seeker’s minds, but it can be a potentially untapped source.
Instagram is a widely used platform. Currently, 1 billion people use it every month, 500 million use Instagram Stories daily, and 63% of users log in at least once a day, spending an average of 28 minutes on the app.
With so many people interacting on Instagram, it can be a great resource in your job search. Let’s go over a few ways you can use this social media platform to your advantage.
Create a Professional Instagram Account
Whether or not you already have an Instagram account, consider creating a new account dedicated to professional use only. This can keep your personal life separate from your work life—think of it like a LinkedIn version of Instagram. Here’s how to make your professional account shine.
How to Fill Out Your Profile
Instagram can be used as a personal branding machine. You’ll want your profile to be consistent with other professional social media accounts you have and clear on what your expertise is and what you can offer to potential employers.
Start out by making sure your new account is public. This allows anyone to see your profile, whether they are following you or not. You want employers and industry peers to be able to easily see your profile.
Next, make sure you add a headshot-style photo—the same one you use on LinkedIn is ideal. Add in a website link too. This could be to your personal website, your online portfolio, or your LinkedIn or Twitter page. In the bio section, you have 150 characters to sell yourself. A good place to start may be to talk about your current job or skills, what sort of new job you’re looking for, or a list of your professional passions.
What to Post on Instagram
Social media can hurt your career if not used properly. If you’ve created a separate, professional Instagram account, focus on career-related photos. Did you attend a conference related to your industry? Snap a pic, tag the conference, and write a professional caption. Did you design a website for a freelance project? Screenshot and share.
It may be tempting to post personal photos, but before you do, consider whether you’d like your future boss to see them. If it doesn’t sit right, save them for your personal account or refrain from posting altogether.
Don’t forget about the Instagram Stories and IGTV features. Perhaps creating videos talking about a project you’re working on, or sharing a video from an employer you follow can make sense for your account. Maintaining a regular and consistent posting schedule will enhance your profile and help with your personal brand.
Search and Use Hashtags
Use the searchable hashtags to find other people who could be added to your network, companies, and even open jobs. This is a great way to uncover companies and jobs you weren’t aware of before.
Some popular hashtags to consider for your job search are:
Also focus on looking through the top hashtags for your specific career field. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant or a marketer, these may be helpful:
- #virtualassistant #virtualassistantjobs #virtualassistantlife
- #marketing #marketingmanager #marketingmanagerlife
You should also use industry keywords as hashtags to describe pictures you’ve posted. For example, if you attended an important marketing conference or workshop, you could upload a photo of the event with #marketing and #(nameofconference), or the hashtag the conference is already using.
Find and Follow Companies
Follow your dream employers and industry heroes—it’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends for your field. What accounts should you follow? For starters, @flexjobs! We post helpful articles and tips for your job search, as well as special events such as webinars and job fairs.
The other companies you follow should be employers within the industry you’re interested in. For example, if you’re in the education field, @rosettastone, @EF, @thevipkidlife, and @k12learn are a good place to start.
Learn About Company Culture
Following companies on social media is a great way to learn more about their company culture. Perusing the Instagram feed of any company you’re interested in can you tell you about the company’s values and work environment, fun events employees take part in, and much more.
Check out the comments and see how the company engages with its following, as well.
Interact and Network with Companies
Go beyond simply following employers on Instagram. Interact with the posts by commenting, tagging, and liking. If employees are commenting on photos, interact with their comments. Be sure your comments are on topic and add value to the conversation, and be selective about when you choose to chime in.
How Instagram Can Benefit Your Job Search
In some career fields, your job application can receive a boost by having a strong Instagram profile and following.
Instagram is a visual medium, lending itself perfectly to any job that produces visual work. While you want to have a proper website where you can showcase a portfolio of work, Instagram can provide another space to show off your skills. Graphic designers, photographers, writers, digital marketers, illustrators, web developers and many more can use Instagram to help their jobs search
If you’re a freelancer, Instagram can help you build and expand your business. Showcase what you’re working on, talk about the clients you’ve worked with, and even consider advertising on Instagram to find new clients.
Successfully Using Instagram in Your Job Search
Overall, Instagram can be a worthwhile investment in your job search plan, leading you to new potential employers, helping you find open jobs, connecting you with others in your industry, and allowing you to network and interact with employers.
Make the most of your Instagram account, and use this visual network to show employers who you are and what you can offer them.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
A version of this article was originally published on March 2, 2017.
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Rachel Jay, FlexJobs Editor and Writer
Rachel Jay is a Content Specialist for the award-winning site FlexJobs. She has worked remotely full time since 2012 and believes strongly in the benefits of remote work. With years of experience as an editor, she strives to help make…Read More >
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